Remnant Magnetisation State Control for Positioning of a Hybrid Tunable Magnet Actuator

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The recent development of a hybrid tunable magnet actuator proposes to eliminate Joule heating when maintaining a force or position offset. By controlling the remnant magnetic flux in an AlNiCo magnet within the actuator, the actuation force can be linearly varied and maintained. While a method for tuning the magnetisation state of the magnet with minimal magnetic field changes has been demonstrated previously, the method is inefficient due to its slow tuning rate, which hinders its use in controlling the actuator’s position. This paper presents a novel method of magnetisation state tuning with a fast tuning rate and validates its effectiveness for controlling the position of a short-stroke linear actuator. This tuning method is implemented and verified for changing the flux density of an AlNiCo magnet in the range of ±1.2 T, with a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 7.2 mT. An accurate estimation of the magnetisation state is furthermore achieved during positioning, guided by the design and experimental validation of a lumped parameter model, allowing the position to be controlled with an RMSE of 4.0 µm in a range of −157 to 320 µm.